This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sedona Amazement - Day 2

So stuck in Sedona overnight because of road closures due to snow. Waking up December 30th we spent some time figuring out what the situation was at that point. It was freezing, and it had been snowing during the night. I-17 (north to Flagstaff) and I-40 (west towards Nevada) were still closed, and after a walk around time looking at shops and talking with people who advised us to not try the roads, we decided to stay in Sedona for the day and another night.

Having made that decision we called the hotel in Las Vegas where we had a reserved room 30th-2nd. Luckily they agreed to cancel our room that night with no charge. :) We talked with the super nice Sedona Motel owners again, who suggested what we could do that day - a short hike in the gorgeous red mountains. Equipped with maps and loads of warm clothes, we jumped in the car, passed a grocery store to get things for lunch and some snacks, and then headed up the highland.

Its hard to describe just how magnificent the scenery was. I was in Sedona also in late November but there was no snow, and it looked completely different at this point. Please do check all the pics in the Roadtrip album! :) We got a 5$ parking pass, and headed up the short trail we were suggested. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, the clouds cleared off and the sky became super blue! With the red rocks, green trees and white snow it was an amazing sight! I was wearing my new boots, very grateful that Helene suggested to buy those instead of some hiking shoes which would not have worked as well in these conditions. So already they have been worth the money! Helene was wearing running shoes that worked alright until the very last bit of the hike, where she slipped into a ankle deep pond. I did the same stunt, but left with dry feet. :)

On the way back from the mountain we drove towards the scenic point by the airport, where I had also been with Hillary and Aizhan. A totally different scenery this time. :) Well home in the motel room with soup to warm in the microwave and bread to dip in it we had a nice end of the afternoon. Helene went for another short walk in the city while I was writing my blog and editing pictures. For dinner we bought a pizza from the across the street Italian restaurant, and ate it at home while watching a movie. And then we went to bed early in order to get up and on the road again Friday morning, December 31st.

Aaaaand we are off! Though with some complications... Day 1.

Wednesday 29th I got up at 7 AM to move the car and to finish the cleaning. It was supposed to be checked at 9 AM, but the guy was apparently asleep, and only woke up when I called him 45 mins later. The check took 5 mins (!), and for sure there was no need to the thoroughness of the cleaning we had exerted! Anyway, I could leave it with pure conscience after saying goodbye to the room, Jing, and Jesus, and packing the car. Thanks to Helene for the help! :)

One thing did bother us with the Toyota. It didn't have cruise control. Not convenient for a 3200 km / 2000 mile drive, so we decided to go back to the shop to ask if we could switch it to another. So at this point it turned out to be quite good that we got a non-clean car the day before. That gave us another argument to switch, since it wouldn't be another cleaning for them, but still we could hardly believe it when the guy said "Sure", and gave us the keys to a Mazda with cruise control, and other conveniences the Toyota didn't have! After repacking into the new car, we were on the road! With Hillary's GPS and a new iPod adapter for the car stereo, lots of cookies, candy, and some non-perishable groceries, guide books, etc. etc. we were very well off! 

The direction was north, towards Flagstaff in order to get to Grand Canyon on the 30th before going to Las Vegas. We had a hostel booked in Flagstaff, and was looking forward to getting there! On the way we took a detour to Casa Grande, an ancient native American ruin a bit off the highway. We came 50 mins before the next tour would start, and spend the time eating our bagels and watching a movie about the area and its history. It was all pretty impressive, the history lesson of the day, but unfortunately it started raining while we were there.

So we got back in the car to I-17 North, passed Phoenix while it was raining cats and dogs, and then reached the mountain area between Phoenix and Flagstaff. And it started snowing. Didn't seem to be such a big deal, but only a few miles later the entire road was closed, so we had to get off and consider an alternative road to Flagstaff. Since we didn't know the reason for the road closure, we figured that it would be an option to pass through Sedona over the mountains. Getting there we learned that this road was also closed due to the snow, and that there was no way of getting to Flagstaff that night. We got a tip for a budget accommodation from the Hyatt Hotel people, and got the last room at the Sedona Motel. After telling the owner of our unfortunate situation and our very limited budget, he offered us a discounted price for the very nice room we was going to be in. We arrived around dinner time, and soon after went out to find some dinner. Ended up in the next door barbecue with a couple of beers, and then went back to the room around 10 PM.

Of all the places in the world, Sedona is not the worst place to be stuck. Especially not when you have a nice motel room and your sister around! :)

Roadtrip day 0 - Picking up the car and Sabino Canyon

After waking up December 28th Helene and I spent a few hours cleaning the apartment. Breakfast, lunch and dinner this day consisted of pretty much everything I had in the cupboards, in order to clear those as well! So at night we also "had" to eat pumpkin bread from Marianne, brownies from Sanford's and ice cream... :) (To be honest we have A LOT of cookies and cakes with us on the road.. ;))

At 2 PM we were off to pick up our rental car at Hertz! Hence roadtrip day 0, 'cause we spent another night in Tucson. We had to wait a while because they didn't have any clean cars for some reason. In the end we drove off with a white Toyota. We took it straight to Sabino Canyon in the north of Tucson, and got there just in time to catch a shuttle to the bottom of the canyon. Was really nice weather though not too warm, but with a scarf and gloves we were both fine. The area is incredibly beautiful, and it was great to be out of the city a bit! :)

We got off the shuttle at its last stop, and climbed up the mountain a little bit. The last shuttle back left 30 mins later, so we didn't have time to get very far. It was just around that time when the sun starts going down behind the mountains, and the light was incredible. Taking the shuttle back we decided to get off a few stops before the parking lot in order to walk back. A really nice hike in the sunset along the water stream. On the way back we went to Target, where I was looking for some shoes for hiking. I ended up with a nice pair of boots. Back home we cooked pasta with meat sauce and salad, ingredients for which was exactly what we had left in the fridge. :) Jesus came up for dinner, and Jing joined us as well this last night in La Aldea.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My 26th birthday

Sooooo 27th December arose, and so did my 26th birthday. Helene and I started out in superior style with breakfast at the Marriott Hotel, where they in addition to the breakfast buffet have a chef who will cook what ever you would like in pancakes, omelets, waffles, and french toast. I got the latter, while Helene tried two of their omelets. Of course together with cereal, bagels, fresh fruits, etc... :) FANTASTIC beginning of the day.

It may sound sad, but I spent the afternoon packing up my things and cleaning the apartment. I didn't mind though - I guess because of the symbolism in turning a page and moving on in life. Not that I was getting too restless here (some of those around me might disagree, but only because they haven't seen me REALLY restless ;)), but I just have so many nice things coming up! The roadtrip with Helene, a Spanish course in Guadalajara and Mexico with Sofie, and then back home to write my thesis. It will all be fun!

At dinner we went to a nice Indian place, Helene, Jesus, Aizhan, Theo and I. It was a delicious dinner, just what we felt like eating. Afterwards we went bowling, perfect timing as they had 5$ all-you-can-bowl including shoes. It was Aizhan's first and Theo's second time of bowling, but they both really had fun - as did Helene and I of course!

We were home around 11, rounding off a very nice birthday!

Christmas celebrations

After our little trip to the Sonoran Desert Museum December 23rd (or "Little Christmas Eve" as we call it in Danish), we had a very relaxing morning on the 24th. Spending a while in the gym was pretty much all we did - and it was nice. :) At 5 PM my professor Ernie from Strategic Planning picked us up again, this time to celebrate Christmas Eve with his family at his sister's place. First we went to his house where we met his wife Marianne, who was very sweet to us from the very moment we met her. :) Always nice to be welcomed with a warm hug and a thorough tour of house and garden! We gave Ernie the present we had gotten for him; two books of Grooks, little pragmatic verses written by the Danish artist and writer, Piet Hein. Check them out by clicking here!

The reason we went by Ernie's house was that they have a special tradition in the neighborhood. For every few feet of street they put a white paper bag with a lit candle inside, and when it gets dark, the roads are lined with these pretty little lamps. We drove around for a little while to enjoy, and then headed to the dinner. Here we met Ernie's sister Lizzie and her husband Tom, their daughter and Marianne's daughter. Later Ernie's sun and his wife joined us. The atmosphere was warm and cosy, the dinner light and delicious, and we had some very nice talks about culture and related topics. Before we left we took a closer look at the decorative little christmas town set-up, and we realised that something was wrong... What was the stuffed yak doing on the street? The bear on the roof of the church? The lion with the people? And the car in the Merry-go-round? Apparently Tom was bored with the traditional way, and decided to spice things up. Way to go! :)

December 25th was to be spent with the Sanford's, and Theo picked us up at 10 AM so that we could get there to help with the dinner preparations. So we spent the morning hanging around the big cooking island in the kitchen, pealing potatoes, eating cookies, and playing "Apples to Apples". Was just so cosy! Then sit was time for handing out presents, though we were not aware that there the Sanford's had bought stuff for us as well. Amazing people... We all got a bunch of presents; candy, a homemade scarf, cosy pants, a picture fram, and other little things! Wow! We had brought a present for the family, namely a picture of a Piet Hein (click on the picture to see a larger version).

Around dinner time we were Rachel, Janine, and Chuck Sanford, Julie Sanford and her family of 4 kids and husband, Theo and Jing, and Helene and me. Like at Thanksgiving, the amounts of food were substantial, even more actually! Besides the apparently mandatory turkey, we also had roast beef and lamb. Side dishes included (but were not limited to... ;)) mashed potatoes, mashes sweet potatoes, turkey stuffing, gravy, asparagus, rice, creamed corn, and fruit salad. This time I actually managed not to get insanely full! After another game of Apples to Apples we went back home to rest and read. I was very happy to hear that Helene had also had a great day, and really enjoyed to hospitality of the Sanford's. It was hard to say goodbye that last time, I have really been so lucky to be taken under their wings this semester.

Next day we woke up and got some work out done, and after lunch at home we met with Nik and his friend Silvan, who had a rental car. We went to San Xavier mission 10 mins drive from Tucson, an old missionary church in the desert. Great weather, great views, and very nice company! Back in Tucson we parked the car and tried to get into the cathedral, but like on our previous trip downtown it was locked. Then we went to 4th Avenue, checked out some shops and got coffee and lemonade in a café, before going up the A-mountain to see the view of the city and the sunset. Really spectacular! Coming home to La Aldea we met Ying in the kitchen, and she insisted on cooking dinner for us, since the day after was my birthday. And well, we wouldn't say no to delicious Chinese food! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Days before christmas

As always, or even more so, days are flying past. Helene and I are enjoying the holidays and each other's company, though also spending a lot of time with my friends over here. As you can read below...

Saguaro on campus
So last time I left you Saturday night, where we cooked at home, just for us for once. Sunday morning we had agreed to meet early with Theo to go grocery shopping in Traderjoe's, mainly to show Helene another kind of supermarket, and of course, not least, to by hummus. :D In the afternoon we went for a nice walk around campus, and got some great pictures (see the December link in the menu to the right.) I had invited a bunch of friends over for dinner, and we ended up being 7 as my flat mate Ying and her friend also joined. So we had a nice meal with a mix of my Hungarian/Greek/Danish meet-stuff and Ying's Chinese. In the end we we're only Nik, Ying, Helene, and myself left around the table, and we started playing Taboo - great fun! Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention the stupid fish, which we took care of for Jesus. Not his fish, but since he was taking care of it for a friend but himself was away for the weekend, we hosted it for a few days. Let me just say that I am not considering getting one for myself...

Monday afternoon we went into a cookie cooking frenzy, yielding a very large amount of really great cookies! And again a lot of fun in the cookie factory, with Helene and I knowing how to divide the work from years of experience, and Ying enjoying using the cookie cutters in the dough! Uhm... So good!

In the evening we had Susan and Aizhan over for Mousakka, which Helene cooked while I tried not to be too much in the way. Not too much luck with that - or well, the dish was great, but I was very much in the way. Regardless, we had yet another cosy night. (Btw: Great to have pictures from all these days, otherwise I would have completely forgotten what we have been up to!

The Cathedral
Oooook so then it was Tuesday December 21st. During the afternoon we borrowed Jesus's bike and went for a ride around the city. Areas that I have never seen before, really nice actually! And the weather was great - it hasn't been too convincing the last days actually. Some winter thing, though apparently it is actually a warmer winter than what they are used to down here. Aaaaanyway. Great bike trip, then home for some work out and a nap (yeah, thats what we do when there are otherwise gaps in my stories. At night we usually watch movies online). Tuesday night I've come to learn is wing night, so again like last week we went with Jesus to Wings over Broadway. This time I was better able to order an appropriate amount of food, and didn't leave the place rolling like a ball.

Wednesday was a rainy day, and we decided to spend it in Tucson Mall. We arrived 11.30 after a 30 mins bus ride, where we as always had the pleasure of getting a close-up of Tucson's lower part of the community. Nothing too unpleasant though. Had some nice hours checking out the shops, and got a nice lunch in the food court. Greek. Helene didn't buy anything, but I came home with a few nice things; a blue long sleeved t-shirt, a nice wrought iron thingy for jewelry, aaaaaand... A new pair of relaxing pants, since my old ones were practically loosing a leg.

Somehow, Wednesday night we we're almost out of christmas cookies, so we decided to make another batch. Also cooking a Danish dish for dinner (frikadeller) including some special cabbage (rødkål) Helene brought over, made me very happy! :D

Desert Museum
Thursday we had agreed with my professor Ernie to go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is apparently the biggest attraction around Tucson. I had waited to go there till the weather cooled down, and at that point I figured I might as well go with Helene. :) The drive there took us through the Saguaro National Park, and was an incredible sight - huge cacti as long as the eye can reach, and in no way capturable with my camera. In the museum with Ernie as our personal guide we had a great tour around the area - a combined zoo and botanical garden, with only local species. Very fascinating! Note on the picture Helene's hat, which she borrowed from Ernie, but ended up keeping. :)

Dinner that night was in the Guadalajara Grill with Jesus guiding our choices from the Mexican menu! Great dinner, with our HUUUGE margaritas probably affecting the atmosphere a bit! ;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The first days with Sis in Tucson

Wednesday passed sloooooowly, counting the hours till Hillary and I was going to pick my sister Helene up in the airport at 11 PM. I cleaned up, worked out, and tried to make time go faster - with no luck. When Nik asked if I wanted to go out for dinner I figured it would be nice to spend the waiting time with someone instead of going crazy at home!

So imagine my frustration when at 10.40 PM I got a message from Helene saying that she was stuck in Denver, Colorado, due to a delay from New York so she didn't catch her connecting flight to Tucson. AAAAARG! I texted some friends how unjust the world had been to me, and got a lot of messages back and Jesus coming down all saying the same thing: That it would be so much nicer to meet when Helene was rested instead of right after a 20 hour trip. Thinking back on my own trip and talking to an exhausted Helene on the phone, I realised they were probably right. And how nice it was to wake up the next morning to go pick her up with Hillary! :D

After 4 months, it was so amazing to get a big hug! We drove home and had lunch, and went down to the city to see the center. Not that there is much to see... I was going to the library, then went past the deserted train station, Hotel Congress and 4th Avenue. And will you believe it. IT STARTED RAINING! The day Helene arrived is the only day it has been raining in like 3 months. Not just a little shower, it rained steadily all day.

During the afternoon we took a nap, Helene to catch up with some lost sleep, and I because... I just like naps! ;) We went to dinner at Gentle Ben's with Hillary and Chris, walking there under an umbrella. Helene acted somewhat like a zombie, and we went home after a nice dinner to watch an episode of a TV-show (Bertelsen på Caminoen). On beforehand we had talked about watching a movie afterwards, but when the show ended, Helene just lied down and fell asleep instantly, without saying goodnight or anything. I don't know if she thought I wouldn't notice, but... Well, I couldn't blame her. :)

We managed to sleep (on and off) till around 7 AM Friday morning, had breakfast, and then went to the Health Sciences Library for a couple of meetings I had. Helene joined the first, then sat in the sun waiting for me till the second meeting was over. Afterwards we walked through campus enjoying the weather and the nice atmosphere. Jesus served us quesadillas for lunch, and then - guess what... We took a nap. :D Meeting Theo and Ziad and two of their friends from Lebanon on the Pinnacle Peak restaurant for dinner at 6, we had a great experience. The restaurant is located in a scenic setup looking like the old west, and is decorated with people's ties (see the picture!). We had a nice meal, including a birthday song and ice cream for me... Wonder why? Yeah me too, not celebrating my birthday till another 10 days! But anyway... The waiter announced to the whole restaurant that it was my birthday, and that I wanted nothing but a room full of strangers singing a birthday song for me. So they did.

We left the restaurant at 8 PM, just in time to see a gun show. Sitting under the stars and a terrace heather, it was really nice and fun! Then we went home, watched A Knights Tale (an all time favorite!) and then slept around midnight.

This morning, Saturday, we woke up around 7 again. Breakfast, then we made a list of groceries we needed, and on my and Jesus's bikes we went to Fry's for shopping. Back at noon we spent a little time in the little gym in La Aldea, and then enjoyed some of our many restaurant leftovers for lunch. At 3 PM we met Nik at the Arizona State Museum, located on the campus grounds. It turned out to be rather boring, but anyway a nice way of spending a lazy Saturday afternoon! Then a nap... of course.

It is so amazing to finally spend time with my little sister again. Though I haven't had the biggest case of missing home before, it is just so great to see each other again, and just enjoy that she is here and we both have holiday. We plan the days as we go, with no demands of high activity levels or any certain pace. It is just so fantastic to be together again! She suffers a bit from jetlag, but with the nap during the day she manages to stay up till 11 or 12 PM and relieve the jetlag a bit. She suffers from headache - I figure it might be because of the dry air and the higher pressure compared with Copenhagen (1017 and 1003 hPa). A neck massage helped a bit, and I am reminding her to drink a lot of water. Hopefully it will be better soon.

For the next couple of days... I have no idea. I'll let you know as we get there. : )

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OMG - its over!


I have finished all my courses and finals in University of Arizona, yeah well actually all I have left before I graduate with a  pharmacy degree is my thesis presentation next fall! No more coursework as it looks at the moment... Im getting at least 3 out of 4 possible A's from my UA courses, which I think is a very satisfactory result. :)

AAAAAAnd my sister Helene is arriving in 11,5 hours at the time of writing, which I am very excited about as well. Haven't seen her for 4 months! Cool to imagine that she is in the air on the way over here at the moment. Yeah!

There are really a lot of cool things happening in the next months... For instance I just decided to take a one week Spanish course when I arrive in Mexico, in the 2 weeks I have before Sofie joins me! :) I wanted to learn Spanish for a long time, and I figure that a crash course before traveling around will be a good way to start. But half the reason I am signing up is for the social side: Instead of being on my own, I will meet people in the school that also offers trips to sights around Guadalajara in the after noons. It's gonna be app. 250$, which I think is reasonable for 4-5 hours of teaching for 5 days.

Now the question is how Helene and I will spend the next week before Christmas. :) I don't think it will be a problem... With some trips around the area, some good books and movies, and some staying outside in the December sun appears to me like a pretty nice way of having Christmas break!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I should work on my take-home exam, but...

... have you any idea how much more fun it is to plan a round trip in México? :D

I am dying to share with Sofie, my travel buddy, the itinerary I have prepared, but since I cannot get hold of her, I will share it with you all instead!

So... The idea is that I will take off from Tucson mid-January and travel for almost 2 weeks north of Mexico City before I meet Sofie there on January 27th.

Ruins in Tulum
Then the party starts... :D We will stay around the capital till the 30th, and then fly off to Cancún, on the Yukatán peninsula. Since I am not a big fan of big, touristic cities, we will probably go straight to Tulum, a smaller city on the beach south of Cancún. Here we can find a cabin on the beach to stay in while enjoying a day on the beach, maybe go on a whale-shark-watching trip, and see the famous Maya ruins. Departing from Tulum Feb 2nd we will go to Piste, a town just next to probably the most famous ruin, Chichén Itzá. Arriving in the afternoon will allow us to see a show at night at the ruins, then stay overnight in the town, and go back to the ruins in the morning before the coaches arrive with thousands of tourists around noon.

An afternoon bus from Chichén Itza will take us to Mérida, another old city in Yukatán. Since I have a friend here, I haven't planned our activities yet, but I think we will stay till the 5th. Then we are off with a night bus to Palenque, to see another ruin city - this time in the jungle! Next stop is the city San Cristobal in the Chiapas region, where we can enjoy the atmosphere and take a day trip to a "living" Mayan village outside the city.

Sumidero Canyon
A bus will take us for a short ride to Tuxtla Feb 9th. This is one of the things I am in particular looking forward to: Taking a boat trip from Chiapa de Corzo into a gorgeous canyon, the Sumidero.

I hope we will be able to continue the same day, as that would allow us to spend a day in Puebla, just south of México City. Its an old colonial city, and it will take us 10 hours in a night bus to get there.

This whole quest would bring us back to México City on Feb 11th. We both fly home, though with different carriers, on Sunday 13th, so we would have a little bit of time for shopping and whatever we feel like. :)

It appears to be surprisingly easy to get around in México. The bus system is extensive and all the information about schedules and routes is online. Prices seem very reasonable. Uuh, I am so looking forward to getting started on this trip! And to finally tell Sofie about my plans... :D

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Morning Thoughts

I just woke up (yeah, a little late for once! :)) after a long dream somehow related to time travelling. Sadly I don't remember many details, but it made me think of the fact that I am not gonna be here much longer - from a different perspective than I usually have.

Hanging out with Hillary, long talks about everything with Jesus (my mexican friend, not the son of God...), exciting trips around the wild west, hiking trips in the mountains, improv shows, the beautiful weather, ... Oh and the TV screens on the cross trainers in the Rec center will also be missed! :D

Hmm... I wish I could have utilized all my spare time better actually. As I have mentioned I have been so much less busy than what I am used to in Europe, but I am just not good at not being busy! Though I have all the time in the world to for example read books, prepare trainings or whatever, I just don't. I don't even watch movies, I really don't know where all the time has gone. Or well... I HAVE been reading books, and really enjoyed it. :) And I have been doing homework and spent time with my friends and taking some walks around campus. And working out and cooking, oh and grocery shopping takes ages for me over here! Not to forget how much I have been sleeping lately. Pff... :)

Anyway, it has been such a pleasure to be here. I really feel like I know myself much better now, and have a clearer idea of what I want in my life on many different levels.

But I am also looking forward to getting home. Moving on, continuing down my track. All my friends at home and around Europe, traveling frequently, having dinner with my sister almost every night. Spending time at my moms place, DOING things together, which we haven't done enough previously. And just having more to do. More projects to work on, a better chance of actually achieving goals and producing results! But I will also remember to read books, and watch movies, and hang out with my friends more than I have done previously.

I wonder what I will feel like when I get home!

Improv video and December pics

Just to share a few links, which are also available from the menu to the right!

I recorded a video of the Charles Darwin Experience, the school improv team, and uploaded it in Youtube. You can watch it here - really funny!

Improv video

Also I have a new photo album in Facebook, with pics from December. Finally you can see some fall colors! :( Enjoy.


Weather bragging and stuff...

Hey all, another little update from my side of the globe. The sunny side at the moment, I must say - temperatures reach 25 degrees every day, and it is magnificent to sit outside in the sun reading, or like today - writing christmas cards! :) I know you are tired of listening to my bragging on this, but I just wanna let you know how much I enjoy it before going back to the ice age in Denmark!

So things are still going on despite the semester ending, though honestly I can easily feel how I have less exam pressure as many others. I have more time to do stuff, but not many people to hang out with, so again I am back to watching movies, reading books, and sleeping too much. Oh and yes, take care of my take-home exam and prepare a paper on Interprofessional Education for FARMA at home. Those study things, why do I keep sounding like I never take them seriously... Tsk tsk...

Last Tuesday, the 7th, I did however manage to convince 4 friends to join me for dinner at Gentle Ben's before the Improv show. That was really a nice evening - I think it is very healthy with that weekly laughing-your-ass-off! :D The show is really hilarious, but unfortunately it was the last one in the semester.  So no more laughs for me on that account!

Wednesday I had a meeting with my Strategic Planning professor Ernie, for whom I had made a thorough course evaluation. I really liked the course, but also saw some areas that could be improved. I had a really nice meeting with him, where I also asked for a recommendation from him. He was happy to write one for me, and in the end of the meeting he invited my sister and my for Christmas dinner with his family on December 24th - that will be nice I think! :)

I decided that I felt like having a party, so Friday I invited 20 people or so over for pot luck, as described in the previous post. 18 people said they would come, but some had to cancel and we ended up with 10-ish. Which was SUPER nice! We had a good meal and then played various games for a while, including Taboo. Girls versus boys, and we kicked their butts! ;) I wanted to go out, but we had so much fun at home, and it ended up being 12.30. Since the bars close at 2 AM (!!!!!) its just not really worth it to go out at that time.

Today I have done impressingly little. Christmas cards in the sun, going for a walk around campus to take some fall pictures, then met with Ji-Young at the student union for an ice cream. Sat for another 30 mins in the sun talking, realising that we might never meet again... Im gonna get ready for talks like that I guess, there are gonna be a few in the next weeks!

Helene arriving in 97,5 hours! :D

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some thoughts before the semester ends!

After having been sick for a week, I am now recovering. I think is a combination of the large temperature changes (down to freezing at night but often more than 20 during the day) and the foreign bugs that are getting the best of me. Just like when I arrived here in August and I had a cold for a week - blamed it on the AC, so temperature changes again! At least I am not too busy these days, so I haven't missed too much by being sick. And reading and watching movies is not the worst way to spend a few days. :)

Time is really running out now... Feels like a long time since I first got here, but only weeks since I wrote the "Half way through" blogpost. I am really happy that I am not going straight back to Denmark, I think that would somehow feel like an anti climax. At least now I have some time for adventure and reflection before I go home.

I think I will feel as many others coming home from abroad: Like I changed a lot, but everything at home is exactly the same as always. Just as well - I am looking forward to being home! In my own flat with my own things, with my sister and friends around me, working on my thesis, doing EPSA-stuff, moving on with life... Though I am gonna miss the sun and the people over here! And for sure I am looking forward to my two life-time adventures, roadtrip with Helene (las Vegas for New Year and then San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego on Highway 1) followed by a month in Mexico with Sofie! OMG its gonna be so FABULOUS! ;)

My exam period is really easy. While everybody is struggling with papers and finals, I have plenty of time to... be a little bit bored... ;) Well, I am reading a lot of books, preparing some things for trainings back in Europe, trying to learn some Spanish phrases, cooking, sleeping, and actually do the school stuff I have to do. Last Thursday I finished Strategic Planning with a presentation and same today for Research Methods. Both went well. Left is a take-home exam also in Research Methods plus a group in-class exam in Policy and Management. Quality Improvement finished without an exam, and I can already tell from my score that I got an A. :)

Hillary and Chris is coming over for homemade cookies and buns in 15 mins - im also gonna miss having my friends so geographically close! Last Saturday I had 3 friends over for dinner, tomorrow is Tuesday, and I have initiated a dinner with Victor, Eden, Andrew, and Hillary before the improv show. The last of the season, *sob! Friday is a big day with at least 11 people coming over for a pot luck (*sammenskudsgilde, everybody brings a dish for dinner), its gonna be crowded but nice for sure!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Report from a good day :)

Fik lige lyst til at rapportere om en god dag herovre. :) Ikke at andre dage er dårlige, den her har bare været rigtig god.

Jeg stod op 7.30, spiste morgenmad og tog i træningscentret kl 9.00. Der er ikke mange mennesker på det tidspunkt, så der er god plads. :)

Kl. 11 var jeg hjemme og havde været i bad, og tog så ned til byen på biblioteket for at finde bøger om lidt af hvert. Bliver altid meget opslugt af deres lille bogsalg, hvor de sælger bibliotekets udgåede bøger billigt. Meget bedre kvalitet og relevans end i de danske bogsalg! (Det gik så først op for mig nu at jeg skriver på dansk, og ikke engelsk som jeg plejer... Nå, whatever...)

Så alledere inden jeg nåede op til de "rigtige" biblioteksbøger, havde jeg tasken fuld. Jeg fandt de bøger jeg ledte efter, og sad og læste på biblioteket til 13.30. Så hjem, læse lidt mere, frokost, en power-nap, og så til time kl. 16.

Det var en time om "leadership", og pga. min baggrund med trainings var jeg godt forberedt. Timen var lidt skuffende, for professoren virkede som om han bare gerne ville hjem til Thanksgiving, så vi sluttede også tidligt. Ellers var det en god time, vi har det altid sjovt i vores gruppe.

Hjemme igen kl 18.15 fik jeg lidt at spise, og læste lidt mere i mine biblioteksbøger. Så fik jeg skrevet en del af den rapport som FARMA kræver udfyldt af udvekslingsstuderende. Fik hurtigt skrevet et par sider, og den skal først afleveres når opholdet er afsluttet - så jeg har nogle uger endnu!

Kl. 21.30 mødte jeg Hillary og gik til tirsdagens improv-show. Super god underholdning hver gang! Virkelig ugens grin! :)

Nu er klokken lidt i midnat, og jeg skal i seng så jeg kan køre Hillary til lufthavnen i morgen 6.30... Brrr.... :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visiting Grand Canyon

I suppose that if there is ONE thing one should see while living in Arizona, it would be Grand Canyon. Saturday November 13th Hillary, Aizhan, and I left Flagstaff on a 1,5 h drive towards the canyon.

I can already say that this post will be a lot shorter than first anticipated. 'Cause what can I say... It was magnificent! Breathtaking, huge, never seen anything like it. Standing on the edge on the top it looks almost like a painting in the background, sort of unreal.

Aizhan and Hillary in front of the Canyon

We drowe around the edge for a while to find the right trailhead, and then headed down South Kaibab trail. It would take us approximately 1.5 hours for us to hike down to "Cedar Creek", where we had lunch. It was a great hike, revealing new perspectives in the canyon that was not visible from the top. There were a lot of hikers (and some joggers - the same two passed us several times actually!) on the trail, and the weather was nice. Pretty cold, but we were dressed for it. 

Back on the edge
We had bought some sandwiches for lunch, and lied around on the rocks enjoying the sun for a while, before we hiked back up. The climb up was pretty strenuous, and took us around 2 hours. When we reached the top we felt great! :D

We drove back to Flagstaff and a little bit around the city, before we went back to the hotel to rest. Later that evening we went to Olive Garden for dinner - people who have seen "Will and Grace" might remember it mentioned every now and then! Its an Italian-ish style chain restaurant, and though a little over our budgets, we had a great meal.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the road to Grand Canyon!

No visit in Arizona without seeing Grand Canyon, right? So I am on my way now. :) Might be that my two Arizonian roommates haven't been there yet, but its not gonna stop me...

At the time of writing I am in a hotel bed in Flagstaff, our night stop before going to the Canyon tomorrow. It took app. 4 hours to drive here from Tucson, crossing things with funny names on the way:

- Dry Beaver Creek
- Horse Thief Road/Lake
- Bumble Bee

Because of the fact that we were driving through a mountainous area, I also had the pleasure of spotting a "Runaway truck ramp", going downhill in case the truck lost its breaks or whatever... :p

So now we are in Sleep Inn in Flagstaff, after having had an enormous dinner in a steakhouse with free salad (including chicken, meatballs, soups, tacos and everything that goes in it, etc.) AND desserts. I discovered that Lava Fudge (sort of melted chocolate cake) taste GREAT with soft-ice, strawberry sauce, and peanut pieces... Yeah, for the record I dont feel too good at the moment. Though I did actually learn to control my going crazy in buffets in the precious years, I did not have the self control to not visit this buffet continuously. Ill hike it off tomorrow. ;)

Just had an interesting quarrel with Hillary, after saying that "I need to lie more down than you" (coming home from the restaurant) - so the question is whether you can be more or less horizontal. Anyway, now im sharing a bed with a lactose intolerant girl who had almost as much of the dairy desserts as I did. Gonna be... interesting...

I already have good pictures to add here, but I don't have my card reader with me, so I will have to upload them when I get back home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chiricahua and Day of the Dead

Tuesday November 2nd I had dinner with Hillary in the "Frog and Firkin", Wednesday night I had the crew (Hillary, Chris, and Jesus) over for pancakes, Danish style, and Thursday I was at a BBQ at Diana's place. Friday I took a break.

Saturday I went hiking in Chiricahua (tji-ri-kau-a) with Hillary, Nik, Aizhan, and Theo. A 2 hour drive brought us to this spectacular mountain area with weird stone columns  covering the whole area. It was a great hike, 9 miles (15 km), and it completely busted my hips. But it was worth it - just look at the pictures! November album is now up in Facebook: November album

Just for the record, I was doing homework with Hillary later that night. Nothing to be said about efficiency.

Sunday was another big day - Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, if you want the Mexican version. As a Mexican tradition it has moved to Tucson, and is being held every year to celebrate the dead. Its a HUGE parade with thousands and thousands of participants, dressed up as skeletons, zombies, and everything else related. Hillary and I went with Pat and Susan to watch, and we painted our faces as well. Really a cool experience, and kudos to Hillary for painting our faces!


Those of you who know me well know that when I say that "not much" is up, it's an easy way to get out of explaining all the things that are actually going on. (Sorry, but I've gotta say this in Danish:) Det er ligesom i Bamses Billedbog når Viola synger "Når jeg har ferie, slapper jeg af ved at ha' travlt hver eneste dag" - Jeg har det bare bedst når der sker en masse. :)

So, where were we... The week after the homecoming weekend (25th-29th October) I spent quite some time having lunch and dinner with people, feeling very social. That was followed up well by dinner at my place Saturday 30th with Hillary, Aizhan, and Chris. Rather unexpected we all decided to go to the movie theatre that evening, to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. While I hadn't even foreseen that we were going anywhere, I could even less have expected what was awaiting... Its even hard to explain... Apparently its a cult movie that has evolved to be presented simultaneously with live actors on stage, in front of the movie screen. Also there are all these little rituals, so on a specific cue the audience will start throwing rice, water, toast, and what have we around in the theatre. That explains also why some experienced audiences had brought a newspaper to cover their head for the "rain"! I found another blogger talking about the movie here:

Since it was Halloween the next day, most of the audience was dressed up, and a lot of people who hadn't seen the show before, such as myself, was marked with red lipstick to be "virgins". We all had to be "sacrificed" on stage - a ridiculous "ritual" that took ages because there were hundreds of newcomers.

The movie however was hilarious, totally dark humor and with no point what so ever. But a lot of fun, and with people yelling and commenting from the audience all through the performance, it was an amazing experience!

Sunday was Halloween, and after studying during the day, I went with Susan to an "International Friends" dinner at her friends house. As always I love visiting people's houses to see how they live - the true American experience! :) I was dressed up with a nice pink wig, and enjoyed the company with trick-and-treater kids coming around ever so often. Really nice and creative costumes, and we gave out like a ton of candy!

Monday November 1st was Hillary's birthday, and that had to be celebrated of course! :D So the two of us went out for sushi and sake-bombs (yes sir - that was fun!) and for drinks on 4th afterwards. Jesus and Hillary's friend Joe joined us, and I started talking with a guy who worked in the bar. This turned out to be very useful the week after, when I went out for a drink, but had forgotten my passport. Anyway - we had a GREAT evening! Luckily I don't have classes till 4 PM on Tuesdays, but please note that I did actually go to the Rec center (gym) at 9 the next morning!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Night hike and Kitt Peak

Friday October 22nd was homecoming Friday, meaning that a lot of Alumni came back to campus to... well, who knows what really... :P There were a lot of extraordinary lectures, none of which I found very interesting, so it was a rather normal day. Also in the sense that I felt like a Friday after hour beer, so I went to Gentle Ben's with Chris, Hillary, and Ziad, where we had beer and some light dinner.

When we left around 7.30 we passed by Old Main where the marching band was playing in front of a huge bonfire. Got some nice pictures - Im still impressed with the colors my camera captures! :)

Later that night I went with Chris and some of his friends on a moonlight hike in the Sabino Canyon. It was full moon, and the light was amazing! Had a lot of fun experimenting with the camera to get good shots - here is one (taken with flash), check the Facebook album (October) for more.

Saturday 23rd I went on a day trip with 13 people from my dorm to Kitt Peak, a mountain area with an impressive collection of telescopes. We left at 10 in a van, and drove for 1.5 hours up to the top of the mountain. Obviously there was a great view, though it was pretty cold - especially inside the telescopes, which are cooled to allow better visibility.

There were different kinds of telescopes, optical and solar among others (not exactly sure what that means, but it was still impressive!). We had a special tour, with a guide who took us inside the various domes to see what they looked like and how they worked. Obviously we couldn't see anything in the bright daylight. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rent-a-car - go to Bisbee!

I must admit that I didn't sleep too well the night before I was picking up the rental car! However, after picking it up Saturday morning, it only took me a few minutes to feel completely comfortable behind the wheel, and it felt great to drive again!

Since the rental car office was closed on Sunday, I got the car Saturday. I went shopping with two friends in what turned out to be a sad outlet mall 1 hour drive away - not really worth it, besides the driving of course. Hehe. I like driving. ;)

Sunday was the big day, going 100 miles / 160 km south to an old mining town, called Bisbee. The car was full, as Aizhan, Ji-Young, Meltem, and Nik decided to join. On the way we stopped in Tombstone, an old western style town, and it turned out that we showed up at just the right time: Helldorado was up, a festival finishing off with a big parade starting 30 mins after we arrived. So we had sometime checking out the old part of time, and then watched the parade. Lots of pics in Facebook, and there will be a movie coming sometime as well.

Afterwards we drove down to Bisbee, a wonderful drive over the untouched desert/mountain landscape. Roadkills and exploded tires decorated to streets... Walking around for a bit in Bisbee before we took the mine trip at 2 PM. Equipped with loads of clothes (it was around 5-10 degrees celcius in the mine), yellow raincoats, hard hats, and a heavy lamp each, we got on a little train which took us under ground to see the old mining shafts and caves. Very nice experience!

Afterwards we drove back to Tucson, and had dinner in a Chinese restaurant.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Getting the best of US - Upside down.

I just had a long Skype call with Salmaan, one of my trainer-role-models and friends. He once again reminded me of something extremely important, which I am so thankful for.

The fact that I am away from my regular, hectic life in Europe gives me a unique opportunity to take a deep breath and lean back.

The pressure of "getting the best out of my stay" is not just about experiencing as much as possible, seeing everything there is to see, and having a lot of fun all the time. I have previously described the fact that my stay here somewhat feels like a holiday, but I was missing one important aspect. That holidays are not just about getting as many things done as possible, but also about relaxing, and taking a break from the performance stress that one face at home.

At least thats what I feel like I need to do at the moment. I need to stop feeling restless, and enjoy that my pace here is a little slower than at home. I should stop worrying about not being productive. I need to lean back, and enjoy the time I have away from Europe.

No offense Europe. I miss you. ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Im cuuuurious who makes their way to my blog. So PLEASE drop me a comment 
so I can see who my readers are.

You can use the comment box just below each post, just press the "comments" button.


No excuse. Im just lazy.


I just realised that its not because "not-much" is going on that I don't write in my blog more often. Its basically because I'm a little lazy, PLUS the fact that the time is just passing unbelievably fast. But now I'm ready with an update.

So last time I left you hanging with my feeling of despair half way through my stay in US. Now I have an array of activities to tell you about. :) Wednesday 6th I went on a bike ride with my International Friend-friend Susan, who showed me a lot of murals around the city. We went to her house, which has a great view of the valley and surrounding mountains. I also got to see another house in the neighborhood from the inside, so now I have expanded my impression on what Tucson houses look like from the inside! :)
Susan in front of a decorative pillar.

Thursday I went to a Southern-style restaurant which specialises in ... wait for it... Friend chicken served on waffles. Bizarre, yes, and not really my taste, but certainly an interesting experience! :D

Friday night I went to a pot luck (dansk: samskudsgilde) in the dorm. It was a guy Hillary once met who invited, and his flat was full of people, some of whom I already know. There was A LOT of food, so we really enjoyed ourselves, also because of the good company of course!

Saturday I mainly spent studying (yes, I know you are wondering if I ever do that, and truth is that its not what I do most - but it happens... ;)), and then I dragged Chris downtown to the Tucson Meet-yourself fair. Basically it is all the local associations representing other cultures who get together and serve food from their respective backgrounds. We got a Turkish kebab and pancake with cheese, Polish cabbage and potato pancakes, Chinese dumplings, and Danish ÆBLESKIVER! Of course... :D

Sunday was birthday party at the Sanford's as my "American dad", Gary, turned 60. I was there early to help preparing the food and decorating the living room. Met a lot of people "from church" and sat outside on the deck for a while enjoying the sun after a GOOD meal, including, of course, birthday cake. And very nice company, as so often before ending in the kitchen discussing culture - in this case language.

Monday was my midterm-day (only had one for some reason), and it went really well. It was Health Sciences Research Methods, and I got a 92 out of 100. WOHOO! Later that day I went with Hillary to a play in on of the UA theaters. We saw Dracula, which turned out to be a great production, where they really captured the fear that would be present in case vampires showed up... Really good experience, and not too expensive - we paid 20$ each.

(Again, a little break in days - then just assume that I have been studying... :D )

Thursday Chris invited Hillary, Jesus, and me over for dinner, in the dinner series I started by inviting them over for Hakkebøffer. :) Chris made rib eye steaks with macaroni and cheese, and it was GREAT! Now I cant decide which steak was better - the grilled one I got at the Sanford's or the one Chris cooked. Anyway, they were both great! We enjoyed some "Cheap red wine", Hillary left, I brought Sagan over, and then we went out to 4th Avenue with Jesus...

Stay tuned for a report on the rental-car adventures I was on this weekend! :) 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Half way through!

Did you all see my Game day video? If not, use the link in the menu, under "My movies". --->

Just a quick remark. In 5 days I have been in Tucson for 2 months. That means that I am half way through my studies here... Time passes so fast as always! Im just really happy that I will have some time afterwards to travel around a bit, and digest all the things that happened here, before I go back to continue my studies in Copenhagen.

I can assure you that I am doing all I can to enjoy it while Im here, as everyone encourages me to! Having so much to read is kinda holding me back, as can be expected, as in the end I am here to study... ;) But I still manage to have an incredible amount of fun. The people I have met here are amazing, nothing less... It will be hard to leave everything I have build here, even if I have just been here for a few months.

Anyway... Still 2 months to go. :)

Did anyone say monsoon?! Time for some course reflection (Warning: Boring)

6.30 PM, just finished my Tuesday class, wanna go home... And what happens? The sky opens up and decides to poor tons of water over the desert. The whole area is almost continually lit by lightning. Way to go, monsoon season... Aaaaanyway, then its good with Internet and a free moment of time, though I should of course be home studying. Instead I have time for some blogging.

Trying think back what I have been doing for the last week, but honestly it hasn't been very exciting, adventure wise. Tuesday night I brought together 14 people for dinner and the improv show, where Hillary is now a firm and very funny part. Dinner was in a restaurant, since unfortunately there is no way I can have more than like 4 people for dinner at my home. Thats one thing I miss from Copenhagen!

The same day I learned that I had failed some homework, but I misunderstood in which class. I have the same professor in both. So I wasn't concerned until Thursday when I figured out that it was the statistics class - hence the boring week, 'cause I've been studying statistics all weekend. Sigh... But! Now I feel like I get it much better, which is great, as we have a midterm next week! I might not like to deal with the theory, but I must admit that this class will be really useful. Its Health Sciences Research Methods, and it focuses on how to recognize and create good research projects. Honestly without it I wouldn't even realize how many things I would do wrong in my thesis and beyond. :)

My other challenging class is Public Health Policy and Management. Its hard because I dont have a background in public Health, and even more because the American health care system is INCREDIBLY complex. And nothing like the Danish. I actually wanted to drop the class, but somewhat had to stay, and went to talk with the professor because I felt demotivated. Together we managed to get me back on track, with the fact that with this knowledge, I will be a big asset to any global organization later on in my career. And I have to admit that the professor's telling me that I am also an asset to the class definitely gave me a positive push as well! Afterwards the class has been a bit more fun; he is often asking to Danish aspects of the issues, and I enjoy hearing some remarkably tense political discussions in class. Last time one of my team mates refused to show up, because our team would represent a viewpoint that he strongly disagreed with... So yeah, an interesting way of studying American culture, and after all thats what im here for!

Strategic Planning on the other hand is a course that I have the perfect background for. With all the work I have done in EPSA and IFISO it is basically an option for me to get the theory behind all my practice. Open Space Technology, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, facilitation... All methods, which in class are linked to Strategic Planning, and all theories I know from practice! Its great! Maybe a little too easy and sometimes too slow for me, but with those other courses I do need a little break sometimes. :)

My last course in Quality Improvement, which focuses on how to reduce the number of errors that happen in pharmacies. This gives me some opportunity to compare the Danish and American systems, and learn more about how we can improve in Denmark. I like this course, as it brings some awareness about how to tackle various issues, and kinda puts the policy-theory from the other course into practice.

These considerations have led me to think a little bit more about where I might be going with all this. I like the Strategic Planning course the most. Not because it is easy, but for the way of thinking, the way of solving issues, and facilitating other people's thinking and learning. I think thats worth paying attention to with regards to my future steps! Like I have mentioned before, I think I am on my way into some professional development, where I can evaluate the role the pharmacists have today, and help develop the systems into something safer, more efficient, and probably also cheaper. That fits well with another personal desire I have - challenging my environments, asking why things are like they are, and try to improve. People say that I ask too many questions... Maybe that will be a strength in a role like that. :) Also great is the network I already have around Europe, with pharmacists as well as several other professions and areas. I am pretty sure that will be an asset.... Not just "as some point", which I was just about to write, but at all times from now on. :) The support and insights are invaluable!

Actually reflecting like this really motivates me for getting on with it all soon! What I can do for now is finishing off the courses here (can you believe im half way through already??), keep my provisional goal in mind, and move towards it whenever possible. Future, here I come! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Church and BBQ, tailgate and football game, Biosphere and more...

Once again I owe you an immense amount of stories, all of which are keeping me very busy in practice! :) You can find all my pics from September here.

Let's look back at last Sunday first, 19th September. I was invited by the Sanfords (my "American family", whom I got in touch with through the International Friends association) to go to church with them, and afterwards go to their house afterwards for a barbecue. As you might know I am not particularly religious, but with my endless curiosity I loved having the chance to see how a service is held in US. We started out first with Sunday School, I joined a young group of girls for their chitchat and bible readings. Afterwards we had the service, which was a little more "modern"(music and atmosphere wise) than I have seen in Denmark.

While I like the idea of a strong community with clear, supportive values, I find it harder to comply with the preaching of "the truth". After my hour-long conversation with Chuck and Janine Sanford about religion some weeks back I realize that as a non-Christian I wouldn't enjoy going to heaven, I am pretty settled on that aspect. :) It does however worry my that there is so much emphasis on the non-believers being "wrong". As this is a very touchy topic and I feel like I am lacking words, I will leave the rest of the discussion for a face-to-face opportunity.

Giant t-bone steaks
After church we went back to the Sanford house to grill t-bone steaks - and never have I seen such big steaks! Served with different salads and baked potatoes it might just have been the best meal I had since I came to the US. :)
Great company as well: The family (Chuck (23), Rachel (??), granddaughter Raven, mom Janine and dad Gary), Theo and Ziad (my Lebanese brothers :)), and Jing (china) and Aizhan (Kazakhstan). We had a fantastic afternoon with long talks and playing a game called Apple to apple. Who needs to study anyway... :)

Monday night I had dinner with Susan (aged 65), my other International Friends-friend, and her boyfriend Pat. They invited me for a biketrip soon to the desert and her house. Tuesday is inevitable Improv show to support Hillary and have fun, Thursday I had a great Strategic Planning class with MBTI personality tests and discussions, and Friday I went pharmacist shadowing in an outpatient pharmacy in a hospital. Another great experience, this time I got a better impression of what a "real" pharmacy is like over here. What surprised me the most is that the pharmacists actually count tablets for each prescription. They have big bottles out of which they take the required amount of tablets, hand count them, and put them into a little orange bottle. So happy we can save time and brains on that in DK!

Saphhire club patio 
Friday was also guacamole at Hillary's and Mexican dinner at Jesus's! YUMMY! Good food, sangria and fantastic company (once again), doesn't get much better! Hillary left me and the boys, and we went out to Sapphire, a club downtown. Finally I got to do some dancing over here! :)

Saturday I had arranged a trip to the Biosphere 2 with 10 people, 2 of which cancelled last minute. We took off 8.30 with Hillary, Chris, Theo, Ziad, Aizhan, Ji-Young, Meltem, and me. Biosphere 2 is (hard to explain) a dome with artificial landscapes inside, simulating various biologic systems (rainforest, desert, ocean) for scientists to study. Was a really nice (nerdy!) place to see, and a must for curious people in Tucson. :) Afterwards we went to a mexican restaurant with seafood for a great lunch.

Biosphere 2

After a much-needed nap I was off to tailgating and the football game, Wildcats vs. Cal. While Im sure you understand the latter, maybe you have never heard about the tailgate phenomenon. At least I hadn't. So tailgate is an American thing, where everybody pull up their trucks, and bbqs off the end of the truck. Thats the simple version. In the complex UA-version a HUGE grass area is filled with trucks and tents lined up, with grills scattered around, people throwing balls and playing other games, drinking, eating, relaxing, cheering, etc. etc. IT IS CRAZY and a lot of fun of course! :) All this happens before the football games, and there is a great Wildcat-atmosphere, with everyone dressed in red!

My tailgate experience so far comprises 18th and 25th September, the latter where I went to the game afterwards with some people from one of my classes. The game was very slow, but it was still fun to watch - and the atmosphere indescribable when the Wildcats turned the game to their advantage seconds before the end! BEAR DOWN! :D